What To Do If Your Inverter Generator Won’t Start?

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If your inverter generator won’t start you need to check the things on our list below and potentially ask the help of an expert.

These can range from the more standard checkpoints involved in how to start an inverter generator to replacing certain parts that break relatively easily.

If your inverter generator still does not work after that, you want to talk with customer support or another expert to see whether there is still any hope for your machine.

12 things to check when your inverter generator won’t start

While non-functioning inverter generators can feel confusing, there is always some type of reason it does not start as desired.

Some of the potential reasons below involve standard attention points for brand new generators.

However, there are definitely a few common “unusual” issues in the list too.

  1. Check oil levels: Inverter generators often have a low-oil shut-off function. Make sure your machine has enough.
  2. Check fuel levels: An inverter generator needs enough fuel to run. This can range from adding enough gasoline to the tank to making sure your natural gas connection is in shape.
  3. Make sure your gasoline is still usable: Gasoline only lasts a certain amount of time. When it gets too old, your inverter generator may not run.
  4. Make sure nothing is plugged in: Starting up is not always straightforward for a generator. Waiting before using the outlets typically helps.
  5. Check the fuel filler cap vent: Turn the fuel filler cap vent on so enough fuel can reach the engine.
  6. Turn off the eco-throttle if your inverter generator has one: Inverter generators often come with an eco-throttle function but this does make it harder to start.
  7. Close the choke lever on a cold inverter generator: The choke lever helps regulate the air pressure. Make sure it is closed to start a cold inverter generator. You may need to dry your generator if it is already flooded.
  8. Don’t forget to turn the generator switch to ON: While this is hopefully not the reason your inverter generator won’t start, it can be helpful to check anyway.
  9. See whether your carburetor is clogged: If you left gasoline in your inverter generator and did not use it for a long time, your carburetor may be clogged. In that case, you will need to clean or replace it before being able to start.
  10. Check whether parts like the spark plug function as desired: The spark plug is another part that does not always function as desired. If so, you may need to clean or replace it.
  11. Charge your electric start battery if this applies: Electric start inverter generators need some power in the battery to keep going. If there is no alternative pull start or this is not an option, charge the electric start battery.
  12. Make sure the low oil sensor works as desired: The low oil sensor can protect your inverter generator from damage. However, the sensor itself sometimes malfunctions. You may need to fix or replace it.

With the many different parts in an inverter generator, there are other potential causes on top of the list above.

Why won’t my inverter generator start?

Your inverter generator won’t start because somewhere between starting the engine and getting the produced power to your devices something is going wrong.

There are a variety of more specific reasons your inverter generator won’t start.
Some of the more straightforward ones include adding enough fuel and oil.

On the other hand, it is also possible that you have a gummed-up carburetor or a broken spark plug.

What to do if your inverter generator still does not start

If your inverter generator still does not start after taking care of the things above, you likely want to contact customer support or another expert.

These individuals should be able to help you figure out whether there are any other parts you need to replace or whether it is time to get a new inverter generator.


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Mats is the founder and head editor of Generator Decision. With a combination of critical thinking, tireless research, and a healthy interest in electronics he helps people find the right generators and how to use these. At this point in the journey, Mats has done research on hundreds of portable generators.